Though not the same as the county fair, 4-H virtual learning showcases and auctions provide a space for youth to demonstrate their mastery of skills developed in 4-H, as well as to market and sell their 4-H projects.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of many Michigan fairs, which provide an opportunity for youth to showcase their 4-H projects. In light of this, Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H have teamed up with local community partners to provide an online platform that will support youth in their 4-H experience and continue long-time traditions.
Though not the same as the county fair, 4-H virtual learning showcases and auctions provide a space for youth to demonstrate their mastery of skills developed in 4-H, as well as to market and sell their 4-H projects. For many youth, 4-H projects require not only time and commitment, but also an investment of resources. Virtual auctions allow youth to recoup these costs and receive payment for their entrepreneurial efforts.
“Virtual auctions are a great opportunity for youth to sell their projects in this time of social distancing,” said Jake DeDecker, MSU Extension’s state 4-H leader for Michigan 4-H. “We are grateful to partners who have collaborated with us to host these virtual events for 4-H’ers, as well as all the buyers who will support them. Our 4-H’ers often use proceeds from the sale of their projects to support projects and additional learning experiences in subsequent years, as well as to contribute to their college education funds.”
From July through September, the general public is invited to:
- PARTICIPATE in a 4-H virtual auction.
Purchase locally sourced meat, crafts or other auction items from 4-H youth to support their 4-H experience. This is a great opportunity to purchase locally raised meat in bulk.
- DONATE the protein to a local food bank.
Consider purchasing meat from a 4-H auction and donating it to a local food bank to support families who are food insecure. (Note that participation in the 4-H virtual auction food bank donation program varies by community.)
- SUPPORT 4-H.
Participants in the Michigan State Fair 4-H & Youth Virtual Showcase will have the opportunity to apply for post-secondary education scholarships. Help support these efforts by giving to the scholarship fund.
To learn more and find a 4-H virtual auction near you, visit extension.msu.edu/virtualauctions.
About Michigan 4-H
Michigan 4-H, the youth development program of Michigan State University Extension, provides life skills, leadership and career-building opportunities in every county statewide for youth ages 5 to 19.